Google Finally Stops Playing Mute On Net Neutrality, Says New Rules Won't Hurt Google Fiber In The Slightest
from the NOW-you-lend-a-hand? dept
While Google was a major player in the net neutrality fight early on, the company performed a stark about-face on the issue sometime around 2010. Google was responsible for co-writing the FCC’s original, wimpy net neutrality rules alongside AT&T and Verizon, which were jam-packed with loopholes and ensured that wireless networks and devices weren’t covered at all. When called out on this, Google pretty feebly insisted they weren’t being inconsistent, though it was clear to most folks that the company had shifted lobbying strategies in the hopes of fostering a better relationship across both sides of the political aisle.
As a result, when net neutrality supporters needed Google the most during the Title II debate, Google remained silent. Recently, when asked about net neutrality during press events, the company simply refused to comment.
Now that the Title II tide has shifted without Google’s help, the company has re-entered the discussion to once again support meaningful net neutrality rules. We noted a few weeks ago that Google told the FCC in a filing that Title-II based rules could actually help their Google Fiber deployment by streamlining the utility pole attachment process. Now in a conversation with the Washington Post, Google has made its clearest public statement in years regarding support for Title II net neutrality rules:
“The sort of open Internet rules that the [Federal Communications Commission] is currently discussing aren’t an impediment to those plans,” Google said in a statement, “and they didn’t impact our decision to invest in Fiber.”
That’s of course in contrast with AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, which continue to proclaim that if Title II neutrality rules are passed, they’ll stop investing in broadband networks and people will lose their jobs. Of course, the fact is AT&T and Verizon were already dramatically cutting back on fixed-line broadband investment and cutting those jobs anyway, and in many of the areas Google is now looking at for Google Fiber deployments. Again, Title II is only a worry for ISPs interested in abusing their gatekeeper position to make an extra buck, and that’s not Google Fiber’s MO as a disruptive new market entry looking to make friends.
Regardless and whatever the motivation, it’s nice to see Google join net neutrality supporters on the right side of the street again, even if it’s a day late and a dollar short.